Originally Posted by Frank@PSI
It's probably there for the same reason those silly brake duct blockers are there on the E46 M3; who knows!
If it were my own 1M, I would absolutely remove this piece before the Forge intercooler goes in. It's easy and makes it a breeze to install the new intercooler and is 100% reversible. . .not to mention I'm sure it will allow for better flow.
Do you have to remove the front bumper to get that shroud piece out?